Saturday, 13 April 2019

Rebel of the sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

This is the first book in a trilogy.

It is set in the Middle East, in the desert. There is a western feel to it with the guns but a fantasy element with the magic and mythical creatures.

This is my review.

What is the book about?

The story is set in the desert in a time when women are oppressed. Amani lives in a small town with her aunt and uncle as her parents are dead. It isn’t a happy home, they are poor and she is coming to an age where she must be married but doesn’t get to chose who. Her uncle thinks she should marry him and she can’t think of anything worse. So, she plans to escape.

Fortunately she is a good gun slinger and decides to dress up as a man and enter a shooting contest. She plans to runaway with her winnings.

Skip to ”What did I think” to avoid spoilers.

How it starts

At the contest she earns the nickname Blue Eyed Bandit (her eye colour is unusual) and although she makes it to the final and is clearly the best shooter it turns out the contest is fixed and she is lucky to make it out alive.

The soldiers are looking for a criminal which turns out to be Jin, the guy she met at the contest and helped her escape. Amani helps him hide although Jin doesn’t recognise her without her disguise.

Later, when she captures a magical horse, worth a lot of money, she thinks her luck has changed. But, her uncle decides they must marry so he can take the money. The mine explodes and in the chaos, Jin helps her escape with the horse.

The middle

At first Amani and Jin are not travelling companions but as their paths keep crossing they end up helping each other. There are also a few almost kisses.

To avoid getting captured Jin suggests they join some travellers as hired help. Amani has to pretend to be a boy and is hired as a shooter as the route is dangerous.

During their travels they see some of what the army are doing and discover they have created some type of bomb and will use it on civilians and blame the rebels.

Whilst travelling, Jin is attacked by a creature that creates nightmare. The party want to leave him behind as he will slow them down and die but Amani stays with him. She is determined to get him across the desert in his fragile state. A creature is tracking them so Amani has to find somewhere safe, she finds a wall and says the secret phrase from the fairy tale Jin has been telling her and the hidden entrance opens.

This trip was a little tiresome for me and Amani didn’t have much purpose. Her family were long gone and she was running to a city where she thought her life would be better.

How it ends

Amani finds the rebels secret hideout. Whilst at the camp she meets Dijinnis and learns about how they all have a unique characteristic. She discovers her blue eyes are because she is a Dijinni. She also discovers Jin is the rebel prince. At first she is angry he hid this from her but later forgives him.

She joins the rebel’s and helps them to stop the bomb by figuring out her power in the nick of time. She also gets with Jin and they kiss.

What did I think

I like the magic and world building I’m just not a massive fan of travelling within stories. I also wanted the magic sooner but I guess that was the tease to hook me until the end. Amani is a strong fierce character which I enjoyed. The chemistry between Jin and Amani was subtle although it was obvious that he would be the love interest. I get the feeling the passion is being saved for a book later in the series.

I’ve got the next book to read but decided to read Red Queen instead. Rebel of the Sands is a good book and worth a read. There is a movie coming and I think the magic will look very exciting on the screen.

Have you read it? What did you think?

If you liked this, you may enjoy:

How to write a Trilogy – lunch with Alwyn Hamilton

Book review: Blind Tiger by Rachel Vincent

Literary dates calendar

Book Review: Who runs the world by Virginia Bergolt

        

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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

About Me – Spring Clean

When was the last time you checked the content on your About Me page?

For me, it was when I created my blog two years ago. When I looked I discovered out of date information, a misspelled word and redundant links.

This page is my first impression on visitors and I’ve just left it to slowly rot. I’ve now fixed it but it has made me realise I need to regular check this on my social media accounts.

When was the last time you updated yours?

If you like this, you may enjoy:

About Me

Instagram Writers Photo Challenge Round Up

I did #FebWritersChallenge

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Monday, 1 April 2019

My plans for the second quarter

You may have caught my previous post where I reflected on my progress so far this year towards my annual goal. As we enter into Spring, I am evaluating where I am at and setting myself some new goals for the next quarter.

Social Media

Blog (Word Press):  To continue to post at least twice a week keeping to my content schedule as much as possible.  

Instagram:  To maintain the new connections I have made and continue to engage with them and share content about my writing.

Twitter:  Continue to share links to my content on Twitter and connect with writers on the platform.

Facebook page:  To brainstorm how I can use this to connect with more writers.

YouTube: To be brave and get in front of the camera and start sharing video content.  

Tumblr: Share Instagram and Word Press content to this platform.

Writing

Red Dresses (formerly Scarlet House):  To start writing a new novel.  I shall use Camp NaNo to make progress towards this goal in April.

Jewel of the sea: To edit Act 2 and hopefully begun editing Act 3.

Personal

Working Together Course:  Complete this course and decide what my plans are as my maternity leave comes to an end.

Scrapbook/Journal: Start using a planner to get more organised.

Read at least three books by the end of June:  I have already read one this year so I just have two more to go to get back on track of my goal of six books by the end of the year.

Development

Writer courses:  Continue to take advantage of any free courses that come my way if I have the time to do these.  

Save the Cat Writes a Novel:  Finish reading this fabulous resource on novel writing.

What are your goals?

I shall review these again at the end of June.  I often feel like I haven’t achieved much until I acknowledge what I have managed to do.  Will you be setting any goals?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

Reflecting on Goals set in January

Do you keep notebooks of story ideas?

Spotlight on Spring Literary Dates calendar

A little post on how I am doing…

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Ally plus text

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Friday, 29 March 2019

A plea for your help…

About the competition:

So, I entered Jewel of the Sea into a competition. I am in Group One for SciFi, Fantasy Paranormal, Werewolf and Vampire stories.

The competition has six rounds. Each round, the stories will be judged for different things.  Each round the contestants will be halved so that by the final (sixth) round there are only two contestants competing to win. The criteria for each round is:

  1. Title, Cover, Blurb
  2. First Chapter
  3. Characters
  4. Plot
  5. Overall Story
  6. Judges’ Review

Round One for Group One Starts On: 27 March 2019 to 5 April 2019

I have ten days to spread the word and encourage my followers to visit the competition and comment on why they like my novel’s title, cover and blurb.

Jewel of the Sea

Blurb:

One kiss is all it took to wake Mariah’s weather manipulation powers.

Mariah is crushing on her best friend, rivalling with the swim team star and Gwyn in meddling in her life using spells. With no idea what she is, this mermaid could lose control and kill!

When your deadly powers are connected to your emotions, it gives a new meaning to “It’s complicated.”

How you can help:

Please can you visit the Cliche Press Competition and comment on what you like about my novel’s title, cover and blurb. Click here to visit the competition.

Also, if you have time to give me feedback on my project it is always welcomed. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve so please don’t hesitate to let me know what is working and what is not.

Please let me know if you are on Wattpad as I would love to follow you.

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Ally plus text

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Thursday, 28 March 2019

Thank you to my followers

This month my blog reached 250 followers.
I am really proud of myself for keeping it going. Life with a newborn is super busy but I just try to write one or two articles a week. I easily could have let this go but since starting my blog I love it.
My blog is mainly about writing, sharing tips and my journey to publication. I also share some personal posts on my other interests (being a mum, organic beauty and Netflix recommendations).
I am so thankful for everyone who has not only taken the time to read my posts but to also subscribe to my blog. I hope you continue to enjoy my content.
My blog picture is from when I was modelling and taken by Natalie Collins (Instagram @neotheartist) who I hope to work with again one day. She is an amazing photographer and this shoot was extra special as I am wearing my wedding dress.

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